December 9th, 2013
If you haven’t already thought about it, it’s probably time to start thinking about doing some maintenance on your boat. The off season is usually a time when goodies are bought and installed on our rigs; but we often overlook our trailers. It’s funny because, without your trailer, you probably would not be able to do what you love doing on those long weekends, right? So why not give your trailer some love?
Before you dust off your trailers and haul out your precious rigs to the launch, be sure to pay special attention to the condition of your trailer tires. The trailer is perhaps the most neglected and overlooked part of your towing package. During the winter it likely sits ignored and perhaps even out in the cold, uncovered and out in the elements. If you are putting your rig in a garage, then you are one of the lucky ones, but your trailer is still probably an afterthought.
The best thing to do in the beginning of the boating season is to take your boat for a quick test tow around the neighborhood. Take some time to ensure your lights and trailer brakes are in working condition. If something is not working, the issue could lie with either the trailer, the trailer plug or at the brake controller. If you find issues, it’s essential that they be fixed before your first trip out to the lake.
Perhaps the most overlooked item on your trailer are the tires. Trailer tires, like all tires, have a limited service life. This life is rated in years as well as in miles. Trailers are notorious for blowing tires and it is often due to tire age. Your trailer tires may appear to be in good shape. Though, with air pressure perfectly set, they could be a ticking time bomb.
All tires have a date code and tire life is expected to end at the 10-year mark. Check the “born on date” for your trailer tires and consider replacing them if they are getting close to the 10 year mark. Don’t forget that the same rule applies to your spare as well. They too have a 10 year life expectancy whether or not they even touched the road yet.
Trailer Tire Code Dates
Your tire’s date of manufacture can be found on the sidewall. Look for a long string of letters and numbers that begin with “DOT.” This string will end in four numbers, for post 2000 manufacture. Tires made pre-2000 will only have three numbers at the end and are all out of date. The first two of these last four numbers are the week and the last two are the year. For example, if the four final numbers are 4511, the tire was manufactured on the 45th week of 2011.
Stay safe and Tight Lines!
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Grant is the Founder of AnglingAuthority.com. While he primarily fishes for large mouth and small mouth bass, he’s passionate about sport fishing in general and an avid multispecies angler. Learning about new tactics, gear, species and conditions is all part of what makes the sport challenging and enjoyable. Grant also loves to travel, particularly to prime fishing destinations. Grant participates in regional tournaments and is a proud pro staff member of State Apparel, Power-Pole and Gambler Lures. Grant is a member of B.A.S.S, Canadian Bass Anglers Federation and Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters.More by Grant Pentiricci